You know how marvelous you feel when you discover something spectacularly useful?
Well, if you don’t know about Rebecca Katz's Magic Mineral Broth yet, hold on to your soup ladle! And if you know and love it already, here’s some of the history and magic mystery decoded.
It took 65 gallons, scores of attempts, and a full rotation of the earth ‘round the sun, before I came up with what I eventually called ‘Magic Mineral Broth.’
I started working on the broth in 2001, while I was cooking at the Commonweal Cancer Help Program. Strange broths made of bitter greens were deemed “healthy” at the time, but no one actually wanted to drink the stuff. I got fixated on creating a broth that was both healing and delicious -- nutrient-dense, yet sweeter, more savory, rounder. I began playing with vegetables and spices, and In retrospect, I’m sure I channeled grandmothers from 10 different cultures and several centuries, the family healers, stirring their cauldrons over stoves and fires.
For instance, where did the kombu come from? That would be the Japanese grandmothers. They’ve always understood Umami, that indescribable savory feeling and flavor, deeper than beef broth, that modern scientists claim is the hidden element behind cravings. Kombu is also chock-full of vitamins and minerals. That just might be the magic in Magic Mineral Broth. It certainly explains its popularity.
But there’s more. The allspice berries and bay leaves are from the Mediterranean grandmothers. I instinctively threw in sweet potatoes, channeling my own mother and grandmother, experimenting, coloring outside the lines. Working on sheer culinary instinct, I was creating a broth loaded with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, polyphenols -- a flavorful treasure-trove of nutrition.
I kept chopping, stirring and refining, creating batch after batch. Folks at Commonweal started following the alluring aroma into the kitchen, asking to taste my bubbling broth, drinking mugs of it, like tea... and feeling nourished. They said, “yummmmmmm!” over my new soup recipes, for which MMB was the base, and wondered why the soups tasted SO good. It‘s because the liquid wasn’t water, but a robust, savory base, full of Umami, deeply satisfying.
I had a hit on my hands!
To my delight, it became not only my ‘go-to’ broth, but that of many readers, friends and colleagues. I knew I’d hit the jackpot when one mom swore that it was MMB that helped her teenage son get back on the basketball court after a bout of Mononucleosis, when she’d made him drink copious amounts for 5 days straight. Other neighbors started spreading the gospel, at gyms, among moms, among friends whose family members weren’t feeling well.
Today people email me love letters to Magic Mineral Broth. They stop me and tell me stories.
Mothers say, My kid loves this broth! Others tell me, All of a sudden I can sleep! (The magnesium is so calming). People who are sick, people who are run down, mothers who have just had babies, all have healing stories to tell. It’s gotten lots of people through cancer treatments and other chronic illness.
When you make this broth, YOU become a healer, too.
The first point of entry for many people is making Magic Mineral Broth for someone they care for who is sick. One happy broth maker wrote, “I can’t thank you enough for this recipe. I have a friend who’s really not doing well, and I’m so grateful to have the chance to help!” She made a batch, delivered it in Ball jars tied with pretty ribbons. And after her friend told her how much she loved it, she created an MMB kit for her with the kombu and spices, so her friend would be empowered to make it herself whenever she needed it. When anyone emails me that they feel empowered, THAT is magic to me.
On our block, somebody always has it in their freezer. Neighbors call and say, “I’m all out… Do you have some?” If someone’s sick, we drop it by. We are all healers for each other. Hmmm… Maybe THAT’s the deepest magic in Magic Mineral Broth.
This broth is my proudest achievement.
I’m incredibly humbled by it. This kind of culinary alchemy? It’s sacred.
The Magic Mineral Broth recipe is included in all four of my cookbooks and right here in my online Recipe Box.
Not a cook? Don’t hesitate to try making this broth!!
Watch how unbelievably easy it is to become a broth-maker and healer, too, for the people you love. And to make an awesome soup stock!